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NLM AIDSLINE
Do young women in tropical regions constitute a recognized social category?
Ahlberg BM; Department of International Health and Social Medicine,
July 30, 1997
Acta Trop. 1996 Dec 30;62(4):201-7. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

In most tropical regions there is little organized health care for young women, yet their household roles within contexts of worsening socio-economic situations create special health problems. In the area of sexual and reproductive health, the onset of reproductive roles does not entitle the young women to either maternal and child health services or family planning services unless they are married and have children under 5 years. Societal values and norms at macro and micro levels have prevented young women from benefiting from reproductive technology, although they are, at the same time, increasingly expected to spend a great deal of their youth in school and outside marriage. Young women thus live in paradoxical situations as indicated by the increasing levels of early teenage pregnancy, induced abortion and related complications, school drop-out and infection with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. Young women clearly constitute an unrecognized social category, and research focusing on them would be particularly rewarding because of the potential it offers for addressing the gender imbalances and their dynamics in health.

*Social Environment *Women's Health

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